Molly Crabapple Interview on The Great Discontent

Didn't know much about her other than her Vice piece on Guantanamo Bay she did a while back. She's a super talented artist and writer.  Love the advice she gives to young artist starting out. This is her on motivation:

If you need to talk about how to get motivated, then go get a normal job in the normal scheme of the world and just do art as a hobby so you still love it. Stop clogging up the field for the people who need this like a drug.

Michael Beirut - A Short Doc for The Creative Influence

The Creative Influence does short documentaries on people in the creative field. For episode 13 they talked to Michael Bierut. He talked about working for Massimo Vignelli, the impact of the internet on design, and what makes logos endure. One thing that struck me in particular was what he said about how the internet has changed things in terms of promotion. In pre-internet days it used to take companies at least a year to see if their message was catching on. Today, if your Youtube video isn't getting enough likes or enough tweets, you start to question what your doing wrong. But to quote:

People's first reaction of things isn't necessarily reliable.

He starts talking about about this particular topic around the 3 minute mark, but the whole doc is treasure throve of design wisdom.

The New Stock Photography

Khoi Vihn takes a look at the stock photography offered today, particularly free options like Unsplash and others:

There is good stuff to be had on all of these sites, especially if you are in the market for photos with shallow depth of field, tastefully toned color palettes, and a preponderance of “authentic” visual textures: antique wood, thick glass, weathered brick, and maybe some flannel here and there. And don’t forget the vintage cameras and modern laptops, which are freely mixed together as if they were the most natural pairing in the world.

There are sites like Startup Stock Photos which as Vihn describes, "[everything] looks like it was either shot inside, nearby, or by an employee of a Brooklyn farm-to-table restaurant." I think it's great that we have these options. The photos on Unsplash, which I have used in many of my school projects, are spectacular, but as you can infer from Vihn's tone, these photos have a particular hipster aesthetic that can become limiting if you're looking for something else.


How We Read

Jason Santa Maria has a new book out called simply On Web Typography. It's the latest from the A Book Apart collection. A List Apart has an excerpt from Chapter 1

Fig 1.4: Though the letters’ lower halves are covered, the text is still mostly legible, because much of the critical visual information is in the tops of letters.

Fig 1.4: Though the letters’ lower halves are covered, the text is still mostly legible, because much of the critical visual information is in the tops of letters.

The guy knows his stuff. I'm sold.

Too Many People Already Do What I Want to Do

This is a common thought people have when they want to start something. I have it all the time, but Sean McCabe has some useful and encouraging advice which is that there's really not as much people as you think doing what you want to do.

Have you ever had trouble explaining to your family what you do? Do any of your family and friends still not quite understand what you do?

This should be a clear indication that there’s immense room, and immense opportunity! If your own family doesn’t know, that’s a sign that what you do is not as common and over-saturated as you think.

In the real world, it’s an infinitesimally small dot!

By the way, I highly recommend listening to the Seanwes Podcast. His lettering is also jaw-dropingly awesome.